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Frost: Parapraxis, Bassoon Concerto; Karlsen: Serenata / Birkeland

Birkeland / Bsco / Reihl / Ensemble 96 / Fevang
Release Date: 07/26/2011 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 258   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Stephen FrostKjell Mork Karlsen
Performer:  Sigyn Birkeland
Conductor:  Oystein FevangIngo Ernst Reihl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 96Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



FROST Parapraxis. 1 Bassoon Concerto 2. KARLSEN Serenade for Bassoon and Strings 2 Sigyn Birkeland (bsn); 1 Øystein Fevang, 2 Ingo Ernst Reihl, cond; 1 Ens 96; 2 Belarusian St CO Read more SIGNUM 258 (65:01)


This is an unusual disc, featuring three contemporary works of different scorings, each with a major part for solo bassoon. English composer Stephen Frost (b.1959) is represented twice, first by a major work for solo bassoon with otherwise unaccompanied chorus. Each movement of Parapraxis (2003) combines a traditional sacred Latin text (Pie Jesu, De Profundis, In Paradisum) with a secular English text by the composer. The work is radiantly beautiful, and the integration of the solo bassoon works exceptionally well.


The composition of Frost’s bassoon concerto (1996, rev. 2004) was affected by the Scottish Dunblane massacre of 1996; this inspiration is reflected in the tragic second movement. The outer movements are a buoyant contrast. Frost’s biography notes that his musical development was “nurtured by Stanford and Vaughan Williams in one ear and Black Sabbath and Rick Wakeman in the other. These musical extremes continue to influence Stephen’s work and are, consciously or otherwise, assimilated into his compositions.” This is an apt description of his style. Frost has worked extensively in commercial and film music, but has moved back into classical music in recent years. It is hard for me to imagine anybody not enjoying listening to his two works on this album.


Kjell Mørk Karlsen (b.1947) is a Norwegian composer whose large output includes music in most genres; in the U.S., he is probably best known for his organ works. The tone of his serenade for bassoon with string orchestra tends toward the dark; it is based upon material from a previous liturgical work, whose influence is felt most strongly in the second movement, with its plainchant-like invocations from the solo bassoon. A rhythmic, Shostakovich-like finale ends in a quiet and sad coda.


This fresh, unusual album is a resounding success—strongly recommended. Bassoonist Sigyn Birkeland is to be commended for her creativity in programming these works as well as her beautiful playing.


FANFARE: Carson Cooman
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Works on This Recording

1.
Parapraxis by Stephen Frost
Performer:  Sigyn Birkeland (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Oystein Fevang,  Ingo Ernst Reihl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 96,  Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra
2.
Concerto for Bassoon by Stephen Frost
Performer:  Sigyn Birkeland (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Oystein Fevang,  Ingo Ernst Reihl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 96,  Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
3.
Serenata for Bassoon and Strings, Op. 113 by Kjell Mork Karlsen
Performer:  Sigyn Birkeland (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Oystein Fevang,  Ingo Ernst Reihl
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble 96,  Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great works, great performance June 6, 2013 By Paul F. (Buffalo, NY) See All My Reviews "This is a gem! Mr. Frost's bassoon writing is impeccable!" Report Abuse
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